I'm into my fourth month of winter cross training which concentrates for the most part on weight training followed by short sessions of cardio on the elliptical machine. I generally keep my weights moderate and the rep count up to 10-12 my purpose being to tone and maintain bone health and strength. The other day I decided to ramp up and max out my bench press to see where I was for the year and managed to push up 170 pounds; ten more than my body weight.
I've felt good these past few months and have been sticking to my routine to a greater degree than ever before and it has been paying off. My joints are feeling fine and my recovery periods are short as ever. For a while I have wanted to hit 200 pounds on the bench press. Last year I got to 185 and never tried to push any further. I've decided to make it a goal and will aim to reach the mark by spring. To do so I will have to shift the emphasis of my lifting routines to fewer reps and greater weights to try to build strength.
Tailoring my workout in this way does present some additional hazards and potential for injury. I'll be taking it slow and steady as I do with any of my endeavors and I am confident that success can be met or at most I'll have given it my best effort. Thinking about it only amounts to another 15 pounds on each side of the bar which doesn't sound that bad but when you are near your max it may as well be three people jumping in the back seat of the car your trying to push off your chest.
The picture is my basement gym that I have built over the years. I'm just a little guy so I don't need a ton of plates or Olympic size bars so that's allowed me to assemble a decent set-up for a well rounded routine. My latest piece of gear is back in the corner beside the rollers resting against the wall. It's a calf machine I got about four years ago and I love using it. Now that winter is in full swing I put more effort into my leg workout and by the time the early riding season gets here I'll feel super when I get back on the bike.